The U.S.-brokered normalization accords between Israel and an ever-growing list of Arab states has effectively neutralized the threat posed by the anti-Israel boycott, divest, and sanction movement (BDS), the New York Post’s op-ed editor Sohrab Ahmari wrote Tuesday.
According to Ahmari, the so-called Abraham Accords will be remembered as “Team Trump’s greatest foreign achievement.”
He went on to say that the accords will “utterly delegitimize those in the West who seek to delegitimize Israel,” including, chiefly, the BDS movement.
“A decade ago, if you asked pro-Israel thinkers and activists to name the biggest threats to the Jewish state, a nuclear Iran would no doubt top the list — but BDS and delegitimization more generally would come a close second,” writes Ahmari.
When Sudan, once one of the world’s most virulently anti-Israel states, has made its peace with Jerusalem, BDS looks like a boutique cause for gentry leftists, the kind who put their pronouns in their Twitter bios.
My Wednesday column. https://t.co/a5ulS8bhOR
— Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari) December 16, 2020
He went on to note that the goal of the boycott movement was to simulate the international standing of apartheid South Africa during the mid 1980s, and portray Israel as a pariah state. He added that while it is “unfair and ahistorical to compare Israel with that grotesque racial regime…fairness and historical probity aren’t exactly hallmarks of the Jewish state’s haters.”
He noted the movement had some measure of success, especially in Europe and among certain celebrities, including, famously, Roger Waters, who has actually called for Palestinians to take over the Jewish state.
Was Israel’s economy ever in serious peril? Probably not. Europe remains the Jewish state’s biggest trade partner, though boycotts and labeling could bite if widened to include firms that operate in Israel or Palestinian territories. The real danger, however, was moral-cum-political. If BDS succeeded, it would make permanent Israel’s status as an abnormal country, rather than a normal fixture of the Mideast map. That would demoralize the Israeli people and compound the hostility they already face in global forums like the United Nations.
Well, so much for all that. Today, a little more than a year since the EU labeling decision, you can find Israeli products — prominently displayed, sometimes with Israeli flags to promote them — on the shelves of grocery stores in the United Arab Emirates.
How far can BDS go in a world where once-sworn enemies of the Jewish state enjoy Israeli citrus products and myriad cultural exchanges? Who exactly do Western champions of the Arabs represent, when the Arabs themselves want to live peacefully alongside Israel and accept the Jewish state’s fundamental legitimacy? Isn’t it more than a bit condescending for, say, Roger Waters — place of birth: Great Bookham, Surrey, England — to tell Arabs whom they can do business with?
Ahmari stresses that BDS isn’t going away anytime soon: it continues to legitimize the funneling of billions of dollars in international aid to the Palestinians “in exchange for refusing to accept reality” as well as old-fashioned Jew hatred by “fanatic college professors and students.”
President Donald Trump on Tuesday celebrated the signing of the “Abraham Accords,” a peace deal between Israel and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates brokered by the United States. https://t.co/kim5DSQiPs
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 15, 2020
However, he concludes, the world and the Middle East, has just moved on.
“For God’s sake, when Sudan, once one of the world’s most virulently anti-Israel states, has made its peace with Jerusalem, BDS looks like a boutique cause for gentry leftists, the kind who put their pronouns in their Twitter bios,” writes Ahmari.
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